Woods are chosen for use in making objects because of their specific properties – how strong they are, how flexible, how durable.

So if you know what the object is used for, it helps in the identification of the wood it’s made from.  And vice versa, if you can identify the wood something is made from it will help you determine what the object was used for.


Properties Types of uses
Pine Soft Furniture
Beech Does not taint
Easily turned
Back of Windsor chairs
Wooden printing type
Sycamore Does not taint
Easy turned
Dairy and kitchen equipment
Oak Hard
Wheel spokes
Chair legs
Ash Strength with length Wheel felloes
Elm Knotted grain therefore strong Wheel hubs
Box/Fruit woods Fine grain Items with detailed carving
Wood engraving blocks

Resource:  SHCG’s Object Lessons: Wood resource is a really useful starting point to learning how to identify wood.

Also search on firstBASE for wood or treen to take your knowledge further.